What if you bite a gay person….? Twilight: The Texts and the Fandom Week 10 re-cap
This past week of class we focused on heteronormativity, the vampire as a queer figure (though not in Twilight!), and the importance of viewing/analyzing texts in relation to homophobia and heterosexism. To this end, we viewed The Lost Boys and contrasted its homosexual subtexts with the heteronormative (not so)sub-text of Meyer’s saga.
Several students are writing their papers on the subject of heternormativity/homophobia in Twilight and are having a hard time digging up any quotes or comments from Meyer on the subject. I feel their pain – when I wrote this post last year in the wake of Prop 8, I couldn’t find any public statements Meyer has made about homosexuality.
We know her religion does not support homosexuality, but her own views on the subject are a mystery. However, given that her church gave a Cullen-load of money to help pass the Prop 8 anti-same-sex marriage law in California (and given that she tithes a pretty penny to this church) it would be ever so nice if she could come clean regarding her views on homosexuality.
Thanks to Ana, a regular commenter here at the blog, I was alerted to a “Personal Correspondence” post at the Twilights blog where Stephenie Meyer is quoted as saying: “When vampires are choosing companions, they are drawn to the most special and beautiful of humans.” Hmmm, since ALL the vampires “choose” heterosexual mates that are supposedly “the most special and beautiful of humans” are we to surmise this means non-heterosexuals are less special/beautiful?
Later, in the same post, the authors pose the following question: “This is not meant to be offensive in ANY way, shape or form, but do gay vampires exist? What if someone changed a human, intending them to be their permanent companion or something and it turned out they were… er… well, gay?”
This question is of course problematic in its presumption that even mentioning the dreaded word “gay” might be offensive, let alone *gasp!!!!* the notion that one of the sparkly Meyer vamps might desire a gay companion – oh the horror!
Anyhow, Meyer answers as follows: “If someone was to bite a gay person, that person would still be who they were before, so they would still be gay.” Well, at least she didn’t say that as the turn to vampire makes one more perfect it would entail a turn towards heterosexuality!
It’s true that if Meyer does support LGBTQ rights and is not herself homophobic, publically announcing as much might result in discipline from her church. As one Mormon website notes, “Gays and lesbians are at particular risk of being subjected to the Church’s disciplinary practices” and the church also threatens excommunication for supporting gay marriage (as noted in this article). Thus, Meyer’s silence on the issue is to be expected.
However, from my point of view, her silence is problematic – especially at a time when gay bullying is resulting in many youth suicides, when hate crimes against the LGBTQ community are all too common, and when the religious right is feverishly working to whip the nation into a homophobic panic. If she is NOT homophobic, she owes it to her readers to speak up.
What do you think, dear readers? And have you ever come across other comments from Meyer regarding her views on homosexuality and/or same sex marriage?